Spreafico Automation has collaborated with University of Milan’s Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences(DeFENS) for a research project on coffee capsules.
The partnership has been established to study the properties of self-protected capsules and the role of protective atmospheres in the shelf life.
University of Milan’s research team will be headed by DeFENS associate professor Sara Limbo. The team will apply their experience and knowledge in the field of packaging for the food industry.
For the project, Spreafico has provided a platform, including automated machine, to advance the study.
The machine, which was designed and built at its plant in Calolziocorte of Lecco, has been configured to fully meet the needs of the university research team.
The company will also provide financial assistance to the project. The company will take the advantage of the study’s results on confidentiality clauses.
The project will allow Spreafico Automation to gather data on self-protected capsules and their behavior according to type and different use conditions. The data will help the company to better save to both small-medium roasters and big groups.
Commenced in summer 2018, the project will consider self-protected capsules that that do not require an exterior packaging and already have a barrier that ensures the product’s shelf life, as well as commonly used in a wide variety of systems in the market.
The project presently being studied includes a series of related studies, and is subject to changes in order to adjust the research method to address issues.
Under the study, the elements being analyzed include plastic materials to make the capsule, gas mixtures employed for the vacuum inside the capsule, type and features of the packaging machines that are used and quality of the ground coffee.
The preliminary phase is comprised of a comparative analysis of the different capsule types currently on the marker, which were studied by assessing parameters such as the layers of the plastic structures employed, evolution of the packaging gases and the interaction of the complex system coffee-capsule-environment to understand the sensory and qualitative changes of coffee.
The partnership between Spreafico Automation and the University of Milan was facilitated by Sepack owner Gianfranco Zanarini. Sepack is specialized in the fitting of packaging lines for the coffee industry.